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Great to Go by Huhtamaki 165 mm Wooden Cutlery Set

rated 4.0 of 5 stars
photo: Great to Go by Huhtamaki 165 mm Wooden Cutlery Set utensil

An ultralight wooden knife and fork intended for single use but worth hanging on to for multiple adventures.

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Not plastic
  • Fork spins spaghetti
  • Knife spreads PB and the like
  • Stiff and tough enough for multiple reuses

Cons

  • A bit short
  • Pointy knife not optimal for spreads
  • Absorbs some water when washed

 

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You get what you pay for...

(Continuing my tradition of reviewing backcountry cutlery on Trailspace -- see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

On our recent hike of Sweden’s Kungsleden, we planned to buy pasta along the way from the rather limited stores at small huts rather than carry it from the start of each stage, with the possibility that the only pasta available would be spaghetti. The thing about spaghetti is that it packs more compactly than other pasta shapes but it’s really hard to eat with just a spoon. So we threw in a couple of Eagle Products wooden forks in our utensils bag just in case.

Another thing: I always carry a simple butter knife variant instead of a folding knife for spreading peanut butter and other gooey substances on crackers. I may carry a Leatherman, but the blade isn't much good for spreading and I don't like the mechanism getting gunked up with food.

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A selection of butter/ PB / cheese knives, Great to Go on the right

 As it turned out, we used the peanut butter knife almost daily and the forks only a couple of times over the 25 days that we were on the trail. Then at the very end of the trip we stopped in at a supermarket at trail's end in Hemavan and picked up a couple of much-longed for salads and, for 2 kroner each, these little knife and fork sets so we could chow down on the long bus ride to Østersund. The cutlery is meant for single use but why not hang onto it for reuse? 

Huhtamaki supplies these and other single-use fiber products such as paper coffee cups in bulk to the food service industry, with sales literature emphasizing environmental responsibility as well as the “customer experience”. “Plant based” is the buzz word here. Probably better than single-use plastic, and even better if used multiple times! (But note also the carry your own alternatives such as Outlery).

I haven’t been able to find out what kind of wood these utensils are made from but it is FSC certified, and is more robust than the usual thin polystyrene versions offered by fast food vendors. The Good to Go utensils are described as coated, but the coating seems to be quite light as they will absorb some water when washed. They come in a (recycled?) kraft paper envelope with a tissue paper napkin. Like so many things in life these days, they are made in China.

The fork weighs 2.8 grams and the knife weighs 2.4, far lighter than any of the competing options I have in the gear cave. The knife is flat, the fork slightly curved and dished, with tines about 2.5 cm / 1 inch long. To test out the fork I prepared one of our trail meals, pasta with sun-dried tomato, olive oil, and feta cheese sauce, with spaghetti as the substrate. The fork successfully twined mouthfuls of linguini and speared chunks of sun-dried tomato to make for a satisfying lunch.

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Yuuuum!

The rather pointy knife is not my ideal shape for spreading peanut butter but will do the job, and despite being thin and stiff enough to spread soft cheeses (for hard cheese I like to have a Scandinavian style “cheese razor”). It's too short for scraping the bottom of a deep peanut butter jar, but I usually repack PB into smaller and shallower containers anyway.

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Works for me!

No spoon included, and since a spoon is the heavy use item in my backcountry cutlery I’ll stick to my more robust and ergonomic Eagle Products wooden spoon anyway.

I haven’t tried these tools out on a cut of meat, which is never a part of my mostly vegetarian backcountry diet and only a rare treat at home. I will, however, swap these cheap but light and functional implements in for their equivalents on our next outing and see how they hold up!

Although this product may not be readily available everywhere, similar products might be worth looking out for at supermarket salad bars or (relatively) environmentally responsible fast-food outlets. 

Background

I have been searching for perfect backcountry eating utensils my entire backcountry life, on hundreds if not thousands of days and nights in the outdoors.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: SEK 2 (about 20 cents)

About the Author

Rick Strimbeck is an American transplanted to Norway where he says he'll "never run out of mountains." He is a veteran backpacker and expert nordic and backcountry skier and in summer runs, hikes, kayaks, and canoes in Norway's mountains and fjords and elsewhere in Europe and the U.S. When he's not outside, he does research on Norway's trees and alpine plants and teaches as a professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

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Specs

Material made with wood from FSC certified sustainably
managed forests
Length 165mm
Product Details from Great to Go by Huhtamaki »

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